Extreme Makeover: Long-Awaited Show this Sunday’

CLAY Today,  May 5, 2011

By Christina Leach Phillips


MIDDLEBURG — On Mother’s Day, ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” will air the show that many Clay County residents have been waiting for since February when local volunteers built a new home for Middleburg High School volleyball coach, Carrie Prewitt, and her three girls. 

Prewitt, a single woman who two years ago became legal guardian and Mom to one of her volleyball players, Ashley Brewer, and her two younger sisters, Taylor and Gina, after their parents died, was chosen by the show’s producers for the Mother’s Day episode. 

The show is long awaited by many residents including those who want to see the final result inside the home that has been kept a closely-held secret. 

Mary Manges, a volunteer who worked on the house, said “Oh yeah – I’m going to watch it. I want to see all the extras that they did after we walked out of the house at 7:30 in the morning. . .  I’m sure there were a lot of things that we didn’t get to see as spectators.” 

Prewitt said at a news conference the day after the reveal of the home that she could not talk about the interior of the home until after the show airs. “We want to honor them (the show’s producers) and respect what they want us to do,” she said. 

Many volunteers will be watching the show at a volunteer viewing party at Buffalo’s Southwest Cafe on Youngerman Circle, including Kathy Deckard, who said, “I’m looking forward to seeing the whole process — think about how much time that everyone actually put into it, and to see the whole process done in an hour of the show is going to be really awesome to see.” 

In late January, Prewitt was surprised by the show’s host, Ty Pennington, and a team of designers during volleyball practice at the school and told the family would have a new home in one week. 

While the family vacationed in theVirgin Islands, an army of volunteers descended upon the Prewitt-Brewer’s older, run-down home in Middleburg to pack up their belongings and then to demolish the house, starting with a “pumpkin cannon” that shot frozen volleyballs at it and finishing with a large excavator that brought the house down. 

In its place, they built a 3,400 square foot Polynesian-style home with a large front porch, a two-car garage, and a sand volleyball court in the yard. 

The intensive 24/7 building production was led by J.A. Long Design Builders of Orange Park and Art Remodeling and Construction of Gainesville, working with hundreds of tradespeople, volunteers, partners, and sponsors who contributed labor, materials, and money for the “extreme makeover.” 

For one week, the normally quiet Middleburg neighborhood was filled with noisy construction vehicle traffic, TV production crews, spectators, food tents, and RVs parked in neighbors’ yards. 

On Reveal Day, over 1,000 people waited for hours to witness the family’s reaction to their new home. When the family arrived in their limo, Pennington greeted the family and led the chant, “Move that Bus!” 

At the news conference, Prewitt said it was “overwhelming” to see the number of people waiting for them, and the family was “awestruck” when they first saw their new home. 

”It exceeded whatever kind of expectations we thought we were going to see on the other side of that bus,” she said. 

Prewitt said that the builders will be among their first guests after the show airs. 

“We want to invite them over to enjoy it and be able to sit down and socialize with them and let them how much we appreciate everything that they have done and let them know all the things we enjoy about the house,” she said.

 The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Mother’s Day show will air on Sunday, May 8, at 8 p.m. on ABC channels. 

An “Extreme Thank You” reunion party for volunteers and sponsors will be held on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at theVillage SquareinFlemingIslandacross fromFlemingIslandHigh School.  The party will include food, arts and crafts, games for children, and entertainment. The community is invited.